The concept of Pitch & Pilot to incorporate new smart city technologies isn’t unique to Philadelphia. An established example is Cary, N.C., which features a “living lab,” a test bed of city-owned buildings where companies can demonstrate their technologies. The city can use innovative solutions at no cost and the vendor community is able to showcase products to potential customers in a real-world setting.
According to the strategic plan, Philadelphia will look to the academic sector to test potential solutions from entrepreneurs and startups, among others.
“A second component of the Pitch & Pilot program will develop a model for working with local universities on research issues and testing theoretical concepts in a real-world setting,” the report states.
Philadelphia joins Phoenix; Columbus, Ohio; Montgomery, Ala.; Racine, Wis.; Boulder, Colo.; and more as cities foray into optimizing government services. Montgomery has also deployed a living lab in its downtown area, whereas Phoenix is implementing strategic partnerships with nearby universities to modernize the entire region.